There are a rare breed of travellers who never have to worry about their finances and can travel as they please. Unfortunately, most people don’t fit this criteria but that doesn’t mean perpetual travel is a difficult thing to attain. If you have the right motivation, possess some problem solving skills and a keen sense of adventure, you can definitely make it happen. Perpetual travel certainly requires work and organisation but even then, if viewed as a necessity as well as an experience, it can feel like you have done very little work at all.
The key thing to travelling indefinitely is to commit; just pack your bags and say you’re going to go. If you sit at home and think “it’s going to be too difficult”, “I’m not going to be able to find work” or “I’m going to miss this and that too much” then book yourself a return ticket and enjoy your holiday. If you wish to keep exploring for as long as you can, you need to throw yourself in the deep end and tackle the world head on. Yes, you are going to have to make an effort and do some work somewhere along the line (whether it be organisational or earning some money) but don’t worry about it because there is no point. Just cross that bridge when you come to it and enjoy travelling in its purest form till you get there.
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear”
– Meg Cabot
I can genuinely say that in the last 7 months, I don’t feel as though I have had a hard day’s work. That’s not to say that I haven’t spent hours poring over airfares, accommodation and job advertisements, or that I haven’t spent 8 hours picking up leaves every day for three weeks in the middle of autumn, but just that the attitude I approach it all with is one in which I view all these things as a travel experience in themselves. There is always a very immediate goal on the other side of the hurdle, whether it is the fact that you’ll have some more money to move around again or that you’re able to attend an event or visit friends for the cheapest price possible and this allows you to always know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Every day of work I’ve done since having been overseas has come with its own sense of satisfaction and in many cases I find myself falling asleep with a ridiculous grin on my face.
When it comes to jobs overseas, you have the liberty to pursue whatever you feel like. There is a reason that a lot of travellers will look into working as an au pair, a summer camp counsellor, a tour guide or even just casual work in a hostel amongst hundreds of other occupations, it provides them with an experience that they wouldn’t normally go after if they were at home. If you need to save money you can work longer than if you had a higher paying job but hopefully you are enjoying the experience in itself and money is far from your largest concerns. All the jobs I’ve looked into over here haven’t been all that high paying, and the one I fell into that was, I started off by wanting to volunteer having no idea of the pay grade. If you enjoy what you do, you tend to work harder for it. This applies to not only each job that you come across but even travel and other passions in general. The one very nice thing about both the tourism and outdoor adventure industries is that they both have quite high staff turnover rates as these positions are often filled by people plagued with wanderlust. They understand that as a traveller, you won’t be a permanent fixture and so therefore are happy to accommodate you as long as you pull your weight.
Now when it comes to setbacks, I’ll admit that I have a deep set confidence (probably bordering on arrogance) that I can deal with any situation that arises and that I’m happy to deal with the consequences, even if they are negative. If this is the case, it is just another situation that needs to be resolved. I think this stems from a very basic ideal of trying to enjoy the present as much as possible and therefore you work your way past any obstacle that arises because it is stopping you from achieving what you want. This mindset has helped me to deal with a few significant setbacks this trip: having been hospitalised twice, walking 17kms with a fractured foot in the Icelandic wilderness, skimming my money reserves before I have a definite reimbursement method lined up, even a nightmare tour in the Arctic where I found out half an hour before leaving that we didn’t have a bus for our 18 hour journey north, where I injured my leg and spent a half week limping after a sledding accident and had an organisational period that was like playing Tetris with circles and triangles. Even with all that, resolving them all didn’t feel like hard work, just obligations that needed to be taken care of and so that’s what I did. If you can try and adapt this approach, even to a slight extent, it can work wonders for not only your travels but also your confidence.
Perpetually travelling doesn’t take much but it does take some courage and faith. Firstly commit and then trust yourself to deal with whatever comes your way. If it feels too much like work and not a stepping stone for what you want to achieve, maybe it’s not the thing you’re looking for. Get out there and explore!